"WONDERFUL WORLD" Tidbits
Chapter 8 - Solar System
(The "Wonderful World" book is a picture book with facts)
1) YOU DON’T FALL OFF THE PLANET. If the Earth was flat, and you had the right optics, you could watch a ship sail from New York to Africa without losing sight of it. You can’t because the curve of the Earth makes the ship dip below the horizon.
2) YOU DON’T ALWAYS SEE THE SAME CONSTELLATIONS. If the earth was flat, everyone should be able to see the same constellations all the time, as if we all were staring up from the same section of summer grass.
If we call a friend in Australia and ask them what constellations they can see at night, they won’t be the same as what we see. Because the Earth is a shape other than a flat disk, when looking into the night sky the Earth itself can block our view.
3) THE SAME OBJECTS MAKE DIFFERENT SHADOWS. If the Earth were flat, you could drive two sticks into the ground at any place on Earth, and the shadows those sticks would make would be the same length. (Because the Sun is so far away from Earth, its incoming rays can be considered parallel).
You can do this experiment at home. Place a stick in the ground on a sunny day, then measure the length of the shadow. At the same time, call a friend who is at least a few miles away from you and tell them to do the same. The lengths you measure will be different. The curvature of a spherical Earth means that sun rays will hit each stick differently if they are far enough apart.
(Measuring shadows like that is how Greek astronomer Eratosthenes very nearly calculated the exact circumference of the Earth in 250 B.C.)
4) TIMEZONES EXIST. To make the seasons work with a flat Earth, advocates claim that the Sun orbits in a circle above our disk, like a tetherball on an invisible string. But timezones exist. Try calling someone in China right now and convincing them that you are experiencing the same time of day (and then apologize). A flat Earth can’t account for how some parts of the planet are provably in darkness while other parts are bathed in light.
5) THE REST OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. The rest of the planets in our solar system are spheres. The chances that the Earth is the only planet in the solar system that is non-spherical, yet subject to the same forces as other planets, are zero.
6) ECLIPSES SHOW EARTH’S SHAPE. Have you ever seen a lunar eclipse? It’s when the Earth passes in between the Sun and our moon and casts a shadow over the lunar surface. If you look closely, you can pick out a slight curvature.
7) NUMEROUS PHOTOS. We’ve seen earth from space from multiple angles and it’s always a sphere. (#1-7 condensed from nerdist.com)
8) Astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner has shown that, in a flat earth model, the apparent angular diameter of the sun should get smaller, as the sun gets lower in the sky, because it would be further away. He shows that the increase in angular diameter of the sun is proportional to the ratio of sines of the angle of altitude. Real numbers can be used in this formula, he shows that the sun at 1:45 pm should have a diameter 6.4 times bigger than at 7:30 am.
In fact, Faulkner shows that there is no change at all in the size of the sun.